Here is a look at the top performers so far in the month of July:
Rochester Red Wings:
Chris Heintz, C/3B:
Key Stats: 14 G, .333 BA, 10 R, 17 H
Heintz has been the most consistent bat in the Red Wings lineup this season, as he leads the team with a .333 batting average in July. He is also the team leader in runs and hits, and is having his best month since he batted .366 in April. He has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, as he has split his time between third base and catcher. In 58 games this season, he is batting at a perfect .300 clip, which includes a .354 mark when he is catching.
Honorable Mention: Tommy Watkins, SS: (.324 BA, 7 RBI, 3 K in 11 G)
Beau Kemp, RP:
Key Stats: 6 G, 1.54 ERA, 1-0, 11.2 IP, 1 BB
Kemp has been one of the most consistent relief pitchers in the International League this season, and he keeps getting better as the season wears on. In six games this month, he has posted a 1.54 earned run average, and has also notched a win. In 11.2 innings of work, he has struck out six batters, and has been working one-plus innings for the better part of the month. For the year, he has not lost a game since April, and he has a 2.29 earned run average in 31 games.
Honorable Mention: Jason Miller, SP: (3 GS, 2.75 ERA, 12 K)
New Britain Rock Cats:
Douglas Deeds, 1B/OF:
Key Stats: .377 BA, 20 H, 10 R, 5 (2B), 11 RBI
Deeds is back to crushing the ball with the same vigor as he did during the 2005 season in which he was named to the Eastern League All-Star Game. He has lifted his average from .274 to .293 during the month, and is tops on the team in many offensive categories. In the past two months, he has batted .337 and .337 respectively, and look to finally be adjusting to the move to first base. If he continues to hit like this, he may be pushed to Rochester to fill the gaping holes in their lineup. He is a main reason why the Rock Cats have won five of six since the All-Star Game.
Honorable Mention: Daniel Matienzo, 1B/DH: (3 HR, 11 RBI, .550 SLG)
Kevin Slowey, SP:
Key Stats: 3 GS, 2-1, 2.66 ERA, CG, 18 K, 3 BB, .190 BAA
Slowey has made the jump to Double-A ball with great success, and he is now the best right-handed starter on the team after the promotion of Matt Garza. Slowey has shown his pinpoint control in the Eastern League, as he walked only three batters in 23.2 innings of work this month. After a rough first start at the end of June, Slowey has settled in this month, and leads all starters with a 2.66 earned run average. Most of his earned runs have come off fluke hits, as he has brought his ability to locate pitches with him to New Britain. If something should happen to a Rochester starter, do not be surprised to see Slowey get the nod.
Honorable Mention: Nick Blackburn, SP: (4 G, 8 K, .225 BAA, 3.27 ERA)
Fort Myers Miracle:
Brandon Roberts, INF:
Key Stats: .441 BA, 26 H, 9 R, 6 (2B), 8 RBI, .476 OBP
Roberts has definitely settled in since being traded over to the Twins from the Cincinnati Reds, and he has been a spark for the Miracle offense. Now that Alexi Casilla has been promoted, the Miracle are counting on Roberts to pick up the slack, and he is doing just that. He leads all Twins' farm hands with a .441 batting average in July, and he leads in team in hits, runs, double, batting average, and runs batted in. He has also been steady with the glove, proving that he may very well be another steal for the Twins.
Honorable Mention: Deacon Burns, OF: (.295 BA, 4 RBI, 5 R)
Anthony Swarzak, SP:
Key Stats: 3 GS, 0.47 ERA, 2-1, CG, 19 IP, 17K, .191 BAA
Swarzak has assumed the role of staff ace after the promotions of Matt Garza and Kevin Slowey, and is having his best month of the season by far. After struggling to start the year, Swarzak has stepped up when the Miracle needed him to, especially after he posted a 5.40 ERA in June. His only loss this month was on an unearned run, and he has struck out seven or more in each of his last two starts. After batters hit .327 off him last month, he is handcuffing the opposition to the tune of a .191 mark in July, and has dropped his season earned run average below four. In each of his last five starts, Swarzak has gone five or more innings, showing that his stamina is getting better with each start.
Honorable Mention: Chris Schutt, RP: (0.87 ERA, 3 SV, 8 K)
Eli Tintor, OF:
Key Stats: .388 BA, 19 H, 7 R, 2 (2B), 2 HR
Tintor is another prospect who is having his best month of the season, as he is batting over .300 for the first time all year. In fact, before his .388 July clip, his monthly high had been .288, and that was all the way back in April. This month, Tintor has amazingly hit in every single Snappers game, and has lifted his batting average from .255 to .281. Of his 13 games this month, Tintor has put together six multi-hit efforts, and is now batting .301 at home this season. If he can cut down on his strikeouts, and hit righties better, than Tintor could become a pretty decent outfield prospect in the future.
Honorable Mention: Whitney Robbins, CIF: (.283 BA, 12 RBI, 6 R)
Ryan Mullins, SP:
Key Stats: 3 GS, 1.25 ERA, 1-2, CG, SHO, 20 K, 21.2 IP, .187 BAA
When Mullins is on, he is very tough to hit, and he has definitely been on this month. After being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Week, Mullins continued to mow down hitters, and he struck out a season-high ten batters in his last time out. After pitching a complete game shutout to start the month, Mullins has allowed only three earned runs in his last two starts combined, though both starts have netting him losses. Still, this month is a great sign after the 5.40 earned run average he put up in June.
Honorable Mention: David Shinskie, RP: (0.69 ERA, 1-0, .156 BAA)